Black Velvet Cupcakes

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Yield: 12 standard cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (175 g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL)(1/4 oz) soft gel paste colour, black (more if necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) kosher salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups (150 g) cake flour (aka cake & pastry flour)
  • 3 tablespoons (30 g) dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (114 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) baking soda


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a muffin tin with 12 standard cupcake liners.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or paddle, if necessary), mix the sugar, butter, oil, black colour, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and mix on medium speed until just incorporated.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour and cocoa powder.
  5. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the mixer and blend until just combined, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk.
  6. Alternate until all of the dry ingredients and buttermilk have been added.
  7. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix until incorporated.
  8. Divide batter among the cupcake liners and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs only, about 22 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and carefully (it’s hot!) turn baked cupcakes onto wire rack right side up to cool.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
  • 3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • soft gel coloring black, adjust to your preference


  1. Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
  2. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
  3. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes.
  4. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

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